Competitions and Opportunities for Writers

A growing list of writing Competitions, Festivals, Events and Opportunities.

The Gold Coast Writers’ Association Short Story Competition

Theme: Writing in the Sand

Special Guest Judge: Lori-Jay Ellis, CEA, Queensland Writers Centre

Overall winner – Prize $300

Second Prize $150

Third Prize $50

The longlist and shortlist will be created by the GCWA Committee. Winners announced: GCWA October meeting and the three winners published on the website.

Submissions Open: Friday 15 July 2022 Submissions Close: Friday 2 September 2022

Word count – Up to 1000 words


  1. Come up with a creative title. Please don’t use the theme ‘Writing in the Sand’ as your title.
  2. You can write in any genre (Except stories written for Children and Poetry) however please do not submit stories with gratuitous violence, sexism, racism, abuse, or animal cruelty. Also, sorry, we are not accepting Erotica.
  3. Entries exceeding the word limit (1000 words) will be ineligible.
  4. Entries must be the author’s original work and must be unpublished. The copyright remains with the author and can be published elsewhere after the competition.
  1. In the body of your submission email put your name, phone number, and email address, along with the title of your entry. (See point 1!)
  2. Your name should not appear anywhere in your story. Applications will be judged anonymously. A story found to have the author’s identifying details will be ineligible.
  3. All entries must be in Times New Roman or Courier New 12-point type and double-spaced as a MS Word document. If you do not have Word, please send a PDF.
  4. Use 2cm margins all around.
  5. Indent each paragraph and dialogue 5mm.
  6. The title of the work and a page number should appear on each page.
  7. Do not include illustrations or images.
  8. GCWA committee and their families are not eligible to enter. The judges decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Entry fee: $10

Unlimited entries can be submitted but each entry must be accompanied by the $10 entry fee. Use your full name as the Reference or Description on the deposit.

Take a screen shot of your finalised payment or save your payment receipt as a pdf. Then EMAIL your story and your proof of payment to

GCWA bank details: Gold Coast Writers’ Association BSB: 034 279 Account: 435 356

Judges are looking for the following:

  • Writing ability and readability. ‘Is it a good read?’
  • Story arc
  • Adherence to the theme
  • Spelling and Grammar
  • Layout conforms to the competition guidelines


Women’s crime and mystery short story competition

The 29th Scarlet Stiletto Awards close on 31 August 2022. $12,365 in prizes on offer.
Maximum length: 5000 words

1st Prize $2000 plus the coveted Scarlet Stiletto trophy
2nd Prize $1000
3rd Prize $750

See the Sisters In Crime Website for more information, entry details, and forms.

Right Left Write – Queensland Writers Centre – monthly competition. Theme for August- Mystery

Start writing today! Right Left Write’s August genre prompt is Mystery. Submissions of short fiction (max. 500 words) close Sunday 31 July – submit your entry now. Stay tuned for the special guest judge announcement.

Right Left Write is a monthly flash fiction competition. Each month the QWC will announce a prompt word or theme, then it’s over to you to create a short story of up to 500 words and right, left, write. QWC Members can enter for free and non-members can enter for a $5 fee. So make Right Left Write part of your routine and get writing. Read More…

Shawline Publishing Group are part of the Small Press Network (SPN) and work to ensure ethical and sustainable publishing practices are always to the highest of expectation. ​If you seek one of the best independent publishers of new authors and books in Australia, exclusively, then you have found them. Talk to us today and make your success even simpler than you first thought. Submission Form here…

Scriptable – Applications open 4 July – 16 August 2022.

Scriptable is Queensland Writers Centre’s annual national program for emerging screenwriters looking to break into the industry. Submissions of unproduced scripts across a broad range of genres and formats are accepted, including short films, features, TV & web series.
5 shortlisted writers from the competition phase will be matched with a screen industry professional for 5 hours mentorship, with the aim of fostering ongoing creative and industry connections. All applicants are provided with a free development workshop tailored to commonalities across the cohort of applications, and opportunities for one-on-one feedback on applications are available.

Full Application Guidelines and an online Application Form are available at


OPENS:    17:00 AEST on Friday 17 June 2022 ​     CLOSES:   ​17:00 AEST on Friday 30 September 2022

Read more…

The Gladstone Areas Writing Group Short Story/Poetry Competition. Open: July 1 – Sep 30 2022

Theme: Open
A. Poetry: Free or traditional to 50 lines
B. Short Story: Adults 2,500 words; Secondary Students 1,000 words; Primary Students 250 words
Limit: Maximum two entries per entrant
Entry Fee: $10 for adults, no entry fee for students (regardless of category)

See competition entry form for conditions and upload information. Email for more information.

An initiative from SBS Voices, the competition aims to uncover bold new voices that reflect the diversity of contemporary Australia by inviting aspiring writers to share their stories and have their voices heard. Read more…

Reedsy writing prompts and weekly writing contests!

Join (probably?) the world’s largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts. Sign up 

Enter to win $250 in the weekly writing competition. Read more…

The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award is one of Australia’s richest and the most prestigious award for an unpublished manuscript by a writer under the age of thirty-five. Read more…

Competition: The Australian/Vogel’s Literary Award. Closed for 2022. Watch this space for 2023

Submission: Walker Books to launch ‘Walker Wednesday’ Date: Watch this space for the 2023 date.

Walker Books Australia run Walker Wednesday once a year, a continued initiative to strengthen their commitment to Australian publishing, Walker Books Australia is looking for new, diverse voices to create stories kids and teens will love. Read more..

Competition: The 2022 Larrikin House Picture Book Competition and Graphic Novel Competition (Both open only to SCBWI members) Closed for 2022

The 2022 Larrikin House Graphic Novel Competition and 2022 Larrikin House Picture Book Competition offers the to win a one on one manuscript feedback session with Publisher James Layton, as well as the chance to secure a publishing contract with Larrikin House.

Read more about SCBWI here…(Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) Join SCBWI here… Read more about Larrikin House here…

Competition: The Banjo Prize 2022. Closed for 2022 Watch this space for 2023

The Banjo is open to all Australian writers of commercial fiction, offering the chance to win a publishing contract with HarperCollins, with an advance of $15,000. Two runners-up will each receive a written assessment of their manuscript from HarperCollins.

Applicants are required to submit a full manuscript of adult commercial fiction, a short pitch of between one and three sentences, a 500-word synopsis and a 200-word biographical statement. Any Australian resident aged 18 or older is eligible to enter. Read more…

A comprehensive list of writers’ festivals in Australia from the Australian Writers Centre. Read more…

Competition: Enter your yarn now. Closed for 2022

Enter your yarn here for the chance to have it published in The West Australian or one of our other platforms. Read More…

Events coming soon at the Queensland Writers Centre.

5 July: The Next Draft with Laurel Cohn (session 1/6)
23 July: Writing Cultural History with Luke Stegemann
10 September: Using Inspiration As A Tool with Megan Jacobson
17 September: Kickstart Your Memoir Writing with Darryl Dymock
Check out our website for the full program and more details.

Competition: Tamar Valley Short Story Competition. Closed for 2023

The Tamar Valley Short Story Competition is a short fiction competition that encourages entries from across Australia for its Open Section. You could win $1500 cash, mentorships, Petrarch’s (book shop) gift vouchers, or the inaugural Adam Thompson ‘New Voice” Award! Grades 5-12 sections are open ONLY to Tasmanian students.
*Entries close for all sections at 5.30pm on Thursday, June 30. Winners will be announced at the Tamar Valley Writers Festival in mid-October

Competition: Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize Closed for 2022

Open to Australian citizens or Permanent Residents of Australia Poetry in an open theme (up to 50 lines) Read more…

The Friday Pitch: Adult fiction, non-fiction & illustrated books – Adult Fiction, Non-fiction and Illustrated Submissions


Allen & Unwin publish a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction for adults, and are always on the lookout for new stories and storytellers to add to our list.  See detailed examples of the kinds of books we publish listed on our website under About Allen & Unwin >What we Publish.

Through The Friday Pitch, Allen & Unwin has discovered several bestselling authors, including Fleur McDonald, Helen Brown, Mary Groves, Therese Creed, Karly Lane, Danielle Hawkins and many more.

We are not currently interested in assessing poetry, category romance, adult fantasy, science fiction, short stories or scripts. Read more…

Travel Grant Submissions: Watch this space for 2023 opportunities. Read More…

In partnership with the Myer Foundation, the Travel Fund supports emerging, midcareer, and established Australian writers and literary sector workers in pursuing professional development opportunities. This includes writers, editors, agents, publishers, librarians, booksellers, employees and associates of literary organisations and journals, and other literary professionals currently living in Australia.

Applicants can apply for grants between $2,000 and $10,000. These grants support professional development through travel. The Travel Fund was launched in 2017 and was named in honour of poet, novelist and short story writer Neilma Gantner (1922-2015).

Competition: 2022 Newcastle Short Story Award. Closed for 2022. Watch this space for 2023.

The Newcastle Short Story Award is calling for stories up to 2000 words. Open theme. Submit Your Story Here

Competition: Grieve 2022 – Hunter Writer’s Centre. Closed for 2022 watch this space for 2023

This is the 10th year of the Grieve Project. We are calling for stories up to 500 words and poems up to 36 lines about grief and loss. Our judges select the top 100 works to be published in the annual anthology which is launched in August. View the 2022 Prizes. Read More…

Competition: Outback Writers’ Festival 2022 Short Story Competition Check back for 2023 dates.

GCWA member Stacey King won this competition in 2021! Read More about the festival here… and Read More about the short story competition here…

Applications Open. Publishable 2022 – Annual program. Applications closed for 2022

Publishable gives up to 25 successful applicants with completed manuscripts the chance to take part in a tailored manuscript development program. Each writer will receive a personalised program timetable designed to strengthen, refine and polish their completed manuscript. Read More...

Competition: Peter Carey Short Story Awards 2022 Closed. Watch this space for 2023

Moorabool Shire Libraries and local writers Jem Tyley-Miller and Wayne Marshall are proud to announce the 2022 Peter Carey Short Story Award.

Peter Carey is arguably Australia’s greatest living writer. The author of fourteen critically acclaimed novels and four works of non-fiction, Carey has won the Miles Franklin three times, and the Man Booker twice. Early in his career Carey published two short story collections of rare and startling power—The Fat Man in History and War Crimes—both of which remain, forty years on, unrivalled in their mastery of the short story form.

The award is for short stories between 2000 – 3000 words, and is open to all Australian residents. Longlisted entries in 2022 will be judged by Melissa Manning. Full Terms and Conditions.(PDF, 165KB)  Submit your story here!

Image: ‘Magical Tree’ by Liliarta Visions

Competition: Northern Beaches Writers’ Competition Watch this space for the 2023 competition

Writers are invited to enter stories (max 2500 words) inspired by the theme of tree, along with at least one (1) copyright-free image that reflects and enhances that story.

Tree – tree of life, family tree, trees, tree network, tree diagram, decision tree.

Stories can be non-fiction, fiction, or fiction inspired by true events. All genres and styles welcome. Multiple entries also welcome. Entry fee: AUD$15.

Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Closed for 2022 Read More…

Competition: Jennifer Burbidge Short Story Award Closed for 2022

Accepting stories, fiction or non-fiction, on the theme of disability in an Australian setting. Stories must be up to 300 words. Open to all writers in Australia. Entry is $15. Scroll down on website for payment details. The winners will receive $500 first prize, $250 runner-up. Full terms and conditions here.

Email your submission to:

Competition: Silver Tree Short Story Competition. Closed for 2022

Under the Silver Tree Cooperative Bookshop is conducting a short story writing competition, with total prize money of $1,500. Entrants will write a short story of no more than 2000 words inspired by Rebecca West’s quote: “The world is round and what might seem like the end may also be only the beginning.” Read More…

Competition: 2022 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize Closed for 2022

2022 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize. The Jolley Prize is worth a total of AU$12,500 – first place will receive $6,000, second place will receive $4,000, and third place will receive $2,500.

The Jolley Prize is open to all short story writers writing in English. We seek original short stories of between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Read more…

Writers Victoria members can find a list of local, state and national writing opportunities and competitions in the Calendar. Read More…

A great list of competitions brought to you by the Australian Writers’ Centre. Read More…

Hints and Tips on Entering Competitions – adapted from the Stringybark Stories website

  1. Never put your name on your story. Put it on the entry form or on a separate page.
  2. Follow the formatting requirements. All competitions describe how they want your entry to look.
  3. Try and ensure that your entry and your payment are made as close together as possible. That is, don’t pay your entry and then submit your story a month later. It makes administration very tricky. It’s always best to do both together.
  4. Related to number 3 above, if you are paying by Direct Deposit remember to put your surname in the reference field so the organisers can marry your entry and your payment.
  5. Ensure that your story meets the theme of the competition!
  6. Keep to the word limit.

The Australian Writers’ Resource is a remarkable website for all writers. It offers a comprehensive list of competitions and submission opportunities both within Australia and beyond, a list of publishers with contact and submission details, and a list of writers’ groups.

Writers Block. Gold Coast Libraries and Queensland Writers Centre present professional free workshops for local writers. Each month there is a new theme and presenter. Covering a wide range of topics, including world building, self-publishing, developing characters, poetry, memoirs and more, you are guaranteed to learn something new. Book your seat today, and keep updated by subscribing to our eNewsletter below. Read More…

Ekphrastic Writing Club
Grab a cup of tea and join us in the Museum for an opportunity to explore the generative art of Ekphrastic writing.
Ekphrasis has long been a vital craft tool used by poets, fiction writers, dramatists and essayists as a springboard for creative imaginings. It is the process of employing a slow and meditative response to a piece of art. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or looking to practice your writing skills in a supportive, peaceful environment, join our growing community of creatives on the first Saturday of every month for MoB’s Ekphrastic Club.

Tea, coffee and materials provided. Book Tickets Here…

  • DATE & TIME First Saturday of every month 3:00pm – 4:30pm
  • TICKETS$25 first class – includes writing kit
    $12.50 subsequent casual class
    $50 four class pack
  • LOCATION Level 3, City Hall
  • AGES Recommended for ages 18+. Suitable for all skill levels.

Submissions Invited. Kill Your Darlings Closed. Subscribe to KYD for notifications of future open submissions.

Each year New Australian Fiction showcases stories from some of Australia’s best and brightest short fiction writers. We encourage writers from diverse backgrounds and all levels of experience to submit.

The 2022 edition is due to be published in September, and all genres will be considered. Submissions close on 4 MarchFor more information and to submit your work, visit our Submittable page.

Competition: Spooky Story Competition Closed for 2022 – Bookmark for 2023!

The KSP Writers’ Centre is proud to present this annual spooky story competition,  sponsored by Little Black Dress Productions. The judges will be looking for good quality original, unpublished writing with engaging characters and a compelling narrative including an excellent beginning, middle and end. Entries must be rated PG and should address the set theme. The theme for 2022 is ‘Best Friend’. Read More…

Competition: Calanthe Collective Prize for Unpublished Poetry. Closed for 2022

The prize was initiated by Brisbane-based poet Jena Woodhouse and is sponsored by her this year, in association with Calanthe Collective.

This competition is designed to encourage aspiring and current poets in two categories: Under 18, restricted to high school aged people; and an Open category, which is restricted to poets who are yet to have a book or chapbook published by April 4 2022. Calanthe Collective is looking for exceptional poems in both categories. Read More…